The Reds secure three points after Ryan Williams comes off the bench to score a dramatic 95th minute winner in Cardiff.
After taking a 3-1 lead into half-time through two goals from Sam Winnall and one from Josh Scowen – cancelling out Morrison’s opener for the hosts – Cardiff reacted well in the second half to claw their way back to 3-3, with Peter Whittingham and Anthony Pilkington pulling the goals back.
It was left to two Reds substitutes to give the Reds fans a day they will never forget in the Welsh capital. Marley Watkins surged his way forward, beating three, before stretching for the ball in the box and playing the ball across goal for Williams to smash home the winner.
Pandemonium in the stands, on the pitch and the Reds touchline followed through sheer joy and celebrations to secure a massive three points, in the last away match of 2016 for Paul Heckingbottom’s side, adding another memory in an unforgettable year.
The first real chance of the game fell to Cardiff and was taken. Bluebirds captain Sean Morrison rose highest in the penalty area from Peter Whittingham’s corner and nodded the home side into the lead.
The first meaningful effort from Barnsley was from Sam Morsy. Hourihane laid a free-kick off to his central midfield partner and he struck at goal, only for Ben Amos to save smartly.
The Reds didn’t have to wait long to equalise, though. Hourihane showed stunning vision to cross into the box and Winnall superbly guided his header into the far corner, giving Amos no chance.
Adam Davies was called into action a couple of times shortly after and produced an excellent double save from Zohore first of all, then Manga, and again from Whittingham.
With 33 minutes gone, Barnsley went in front through Winnall’s ninth goal of the season. Ryan Kent made it by running the length of the pitch, crossing for Morsy to lay the ball back with precision, allowing Winnall to fire home.
Just minutes after taking the lead, Cardiff nearly levelled, but for another world-class save from Davies. The Reds number one tipped over Zohore’s header when it looked destined for the back of the net, and that save was to prove pivotal.
As half-time approached, Josh Scowen extended the lead to 3-1. It was another stunning counter attack at pace, as Hourihane played the ball through the middle for Kent to latch on to and cut inside, then find Scowen who kept his cool to slot into an empty net.
Half Time: Cardiff 1-3 Barnsley
The second half began and Cardiff came out looking determined to get back into the match. Just 19 seconds after kick-off, Hoilett had the goal at his mercy and looked likely to pull one back, but his effort hit the post and went wide.
In what was becoming an end-to-end game, Tom Bradshaw had the next chance to extend the lead but could only find the side netting as the angle tightened on him. On 53 minutes, the referee Tony Harrington had a big decision to make. He adjudged Davies to have brought down Zohore just outside the area and showed the Barnsley ‘keeper a yellow card, with the home crowd begging for a Red.
Attack after attack was exchanged at either end of the field, with Cardiff being buoyed by their supporters behind the goal, who along with the Reds fans at the other end were in fine voice.
In the 79th minute, the goal that the Bluebirds were searching for to find a route back into the match arrived. Peter Whittingham struck from the edge of the penalty area and via a deflection off Marc Roberts, found the top corner of the goal.
On onslaught then arrived for the final few moments and Adam Davies had to be at his very best again to dive across goal and tip wide Whittingham’s long-range effort. His heroics in the Reds goal weren’t enough to stop Cardiff finding an equaliser though as Pilkington scored from another Cardiff corner, this time deflecting in off Andy Yiadom.
Reds Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom decided to make one last change in the match after seeing his side concede, bringing on Ryan Williams, which proved to be a superb decision.
After Rickie Lambert had fired inches wide of the post for the home side, Barnsley went straight up the other end and found the winner.
A driving run from Marley Watkins saw him forced his way into the area, before stretching as far forward as he could to play the ball across goal, where Williams was waiting to fire the Reds to another stunning victory on the road.
Full-Time: Cardiff 3-4 Barnsley
Reds XI: Davies (GK), Bree, MacDonald, Roberts, Yiadom, Scowen, Hourihane (c), Morsy, Kent, Winnall, Bradshaw.
Subs: Townsend (GK), Kpekawa, Evans, A. Jackson, Williams, Watkins, Payne.
Cardiff XI: Amos (GK), Whittingham, Peltier, Connolly, Morrison (c), Zahore, Manga, Gunnarsson, Pilkington, Hoilett, Noone.
Subs: Wilson (GK), O'Keefe, Lambert, Ralls, Bennett, Harris, Immers.